Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Best Joke

Another Part of CHAPTER FOUR
There is a bunch of stuff that happens in the middle of this and the tent stuff that actually ties together. When the hard copy of the book comes out and it has all the words from all the stories it will make sense.

The other day I heard one of the best jokes ever. I even had the opportunity to play a small role in the punch line. But I don't want to take too much credit. Mostly I just listened and observed. Here I will try to retell it in a way that is both funny and instructional. This works really well if the person you are telling the joke to has kids. Parents have a perspective that helps them understand this kind of humor.

Here's what you do. If you see someone with their child, go and sit by them and strike up a mild conversation. Be patient and before long the parent will inevitably say something about the child's development. And as soon as they do you say, "Oh he or she is so advanced." At first it might not sound funny but with a little patience and luck it will pay off. And here's how. If good fortune is on your side some one else will join the conversation within a few moments and when they do you can just casually slip in the punch line of the joke. Like so, "One of my favorite things to say when ever anyone is talking to me about their kids is that they are so advanced. It's like my little joke." Be sure to say it loud enough that the person you just played the joke on can hear it. That way they get to share in the punch line pay off.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So I have decided to write a book

People say to me a lot, "Mark, you should write a book. I would totally read it." When I hear this I have always been repeating in my mind, "I am a painter and a drawer. A visual type artist. Why would I write a book? A book writer is an author. A word artist... Which I am not." But on my face I just laugh and then look down at the floor or my lap as my smile fades like I am giving it some thought. But really I am just wishing it had never been mentioned. So I just keep looking down and I wait for the conversation to change. Which it does at some point. Because some one always says something.

Well, recently, no one has told me I should write a book. It might be because I have almost stopped talking to people. And if I do talk to some one I rarely say anything that would be in a book. But with no one prompting me to write I have had time to think. And through that thinking I have decided to write my book.

When ever I hear any one give advice about doing some thing creative I always remember the same thing that is eventually said. "Make, such and such, based on what you know." And since I know my life I'm sure my book will be mostly about that. Maybe some fiction thrown in if I forget a bunch of stuff or if I find my life too boring to write about.

Looking back I would have to say my book has gotten off to a pretty good start. I have already written three paragraphs and two sentences. And that's even before I have gotten into the meat of the book. This has just been the intro. Or the foreword. I don't read much so I don't know which one it is.

For some reason my wife of four years likes to point out the fact that I don't read. Maybe she thinks that will motivate me to read. Like today when I asked if she was still using the damp wash cloth sitting on the edge of the sink. In my mind I thought that would encourage her to put the wet cloth in the hamper. And maybe she did. I have not looked so I don't know. What I do know is that I do not read more than I have to.

And now with out further discussion or build up I will begin. (Please note this is only a sample. This is not actually how the book starts.)

And as it came crashing down it sliced the skin from my heal clean off.
That is the end of chapter three


A good friend of mine likes to go camping. He calls it "back packing" though. I don't know the difference and it doesn't really matter because either way the person/persons involved end up in a tent.

In a tent. Of the ways I have woken up, this is one of my least favorite. Perhaps the only other way I have woken up that I like less is waking up after a surgery. I think it's the temperature and the lighting. Never, upon waking in a tent, have I felt rested or refreshed and eager to start the day. In a tent there is always something wrong. It's either too hot, too cold, too moist from breath build up and night sweats, and usually insanely bright for 5:45 am.

Now I will admit I have never spent good money on a sleeping bag but I have borrowed sleep sacks from a few people who have. And the common factor seems to be that by morning I feel like I am wrapped in a twig filled dirty damp napkin smelling of beef jerky.

Times have changed some may argue. And then tell me all about the latest brake through in watermelon rind fibers. And they keep going. And it's all good stuff but all I can think about is, in tents. I hate to wake up in tents. Cold (hot), twig filled dusty, nylon smoke house, crusty socks stuffed into wrong terrain kind of shoes by my face, dripping walls tents.